Notes and Documents
although lengthy will we believe be read with deep interest by our
citizens. It is less explicit than we could desire; but this is owing
to the peculiar circumstances in which he is placed. The act of Con-
gress, upon which his official responsibility is based, is unfortunately
veiled from the public view, and the documents which the Executive
has published purporting to be instructions to the Commissioners
furnish but little evidence either to exculpate or criminate him. A
portion of the instructions that were sent to the Commissioners have
been suppressed and the part that has come to light only serve to
make "darkness visible." It is an acknowledged precept that "every
man should be regarded as innocent until he is proved as guilty,"
and as the testimony now adduced is not of a character to criminate
Col. Morgan, but on the contrary evinces that he has been actuated
by the most patriotic motives, and has perrilled his life and his fortune
in the attempt to advance the best interest of his country, the com-
munity will necessarily, until evidence is adduced to the contrary,
not only acquit him of all censure, but accord to him the full tribute
of admiration and gratitude that is due to a public benefactor.
Commodore Moore expressed himself in these words:
TO THE PEOPLE OF TEXAS.
The Proclamation of President Houston accusing me of flagrant dis-
obedience of orders, time and again, and proclaiming me an outlaw,
engaged in a piratical cruize, calls for immediate explanation and
defence on my part, now that I have the opportunity of refuting
charges promulgated during my absence.
I am gratified to learn that a liberal public have found, in my
motives, an excuse for what they were bound to consider a disobe-
dience of orders, but this does not satisfy me. I claim to be fully exon-
erated from the charges so solemnly paraded in the President's Procla-
mation, and will prove, from the very orders cited in that document,
that the denunciations were uncalled for, and the declarations un-
founded. The very expedition which I have accomplished, and which
has been proclaimed piratical, I was induced to plan and execute
by instructions from the proper Department. It is true, that from the
first, obstacles were thrown in my path by the non-compliance of my
Government with its promises, but excuses were made for this, and I
was still urged to fit out the vessels and act against the enemy-and
what the President is pleased to denominate "peremptory orders for
my return with the vessels to Galveston," were provisional orders,
avowing the necessity of a cruize, if practicable, and only recommend-
ing the return to Galveston, if so, as a dernier resort.
When these orders reached me I found it impracticable to obey
them, if construed as requiring the vessels to be returned to Texas,
because means could not be raised for such a purpose-but if con-
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 66, July 1962 - April, 1963. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101196/. Accessed April 23, 2014.